Announcing Exponential Speed Improvements

Faster Uploading, Viewing & Exporting for Users with Slow Internet

Sep 27, 2016 · 4 min read

By Anya Lamb, Marketing Manager @DroneDeploy

Processing and hosting maps in the cloud offers many benefits — allowing users to easily process large data sets without the need for a powerful computer, and enabling easy, button-click sharing.

But for all its upsides, uploading images and accessing maps in the cloud depends on one key thing: an internet connection. In many of the areas where our users are making maps, whether in the U.S. or around the world, internet connections may be slow, expensive or unreliable.

Recent DroneDeploy flight planning updates have made it easier for users in rural areas to fly a drone mapping flight without a data connection. This latest set of updates aim to make the rest of the DroneDeploy experience — uploading images and processing maps, viewing and exploring maps and exporting data — faster and more reliable for users with slow internet connections.

Turbo Uploader — Decimate Your Upload Size

Today we’re excited to share a new map engine uploader interface that includes a powerful new feature. With the click of a button, users can opt to use the new Turbo Uploader, which will shrink their photos to one tenth of the size before uploading them to DroneDeploy. This will make the upload time up to 10 times shorter and also significantly reduce overall processing time.

Just click the “Turbo Upload” button when uploading your images to upload up to 10 times faster

To help put this in context, a drone mapping a typical 160-acre field would capture nearly 1,000 photos, or approximately 4 GB of data. Without downsampling, and assuming a global average internet speed of 6.3 Mbps (Akamai State of the Internet Report Q1 2016), it would take at least 1.5 hours just to upload the images. Using the new Turbo Uploader, the data set would be 400 MB and would take only about 10 minutes to upload.

File size, estimated upload time and map resolution for an example 1,000 image data set

The downsampling of images as part of the Turbo Upload process will negatively impact map resolution. For example, 2 cm/pixel images uploaded via the Turbo Uploader would result in a map with approximately 5 cm/pixel resolution. However, for many users mapping large, rural areas, particularly for agriculture or mining, the resulting resolution is more than sufficient, and the gains in upload speed are well worth the trade-off.

One beta tester of the new Turbo Uploader, Jim Love of Beck’s Hybrids, a major independent seed company had this to say:

“The improvements in upload speed will make the imagery created much more valuable than we have ever had.”

Use of the Turbo Uploader will degrade map resolution, as seen in the side by side comparison above. Click to view the normal upload version and Turbo Uploader version of the map to explore the resolution differences for yourself.

Visit our support documentation to learn more about how to process images into maps and 3D models using DroneDeploy.

Faster, Smaller Exports, & Speedy Map Loading

As we shared in our recent Commercial Drone Industry Trends Report, the number of data sets being exported from DroneDeploy has grown tremendously in recent months, and customers are continuing to find powerful ways to leverage their drone data in their industry-standard software.

Newly-supported export formats like contour maps and XYZ point clouds have made it much easier to use drone data in third party software, but some users have noted that the very large GeoTiff they receive from DroneDeploy are time-consuming to download and can be too large for their computer or desktop software to handle. In response to this feedback, we’ve made GeoTiff exports four times smaller, without any loss in resolution. Visit our support documentation to learn more about exporting data from DroneDeploy.

DroneDeploy has also increased the speed with which completed maps load and display on the screen. Although the improvement may be hardly perceptible on fast internet connections, users on slower internet connections may see their maps load up to 4 times faster.

These are just the beginning of our efforts to improve speed for all users. Look out for more improvements throughout the rest of the year!

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.

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